After being drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft and expected to sit and learn the NFL game for the year, Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings found himself tossed into the fire early on. Phil Loadholt tore his Achilles tendon in the team's second preseason game, and Clemmings found himself starting at right tackle. He had an up-and-down season in his rookie year, but the National Football League has rewarded him richly for his play.
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, Clemmings wound up with the second-largest bonus for "performance-based play" in the entire National Football League.
Performance-based pay is based on who makes the least and plays the most. Eight players earned $300K+ in 2015 PBP: pic.twitter.com/bH3YfFFISf— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 14, 2016
What the performance-based pay system does is provide additional compensation for those that make the minimum NFL salary (or close to it) while playing the most. Clemmings' base salary for the 2015 season was around $435,000, but with him being a 16-game starter for the Vikings, he got a huge amount of performance-based pay to balance things out.
Per Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Clemmings wasn't the only Vikings' player to cash in big. Rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs brought home an additional $252,099, while receiver/special teams ace Adam Thielen picked up an extra $172,306.